Despite the fact that a successful writing career definitely involves a whole lot of time spent solo, you’re going to need more than a quiet room of your own to really establish yourself as a writer. Like many other professional endeavours, if you’re planning to make writing your main source of income, you’ll require a solid network of support and contacts to get you to where you want to be.
Although part of this process is likely to happen fairly organically, you’ll be one step ahead of the game if you take some proactive measures to expand your network. Not only will this give you access to a greater pool of minds to share ideas with, but it will also go a long way to increasing your visibility and ensuring you’ve got the name recognition needed to take advantage of new opportunities. Here are some tips and tricks for expanding your network.
Become an active voice in the community
There are no two ways about it, growing your network is going to take a little bit of leg work. That being said, if you approach it thoughtfully, it is work that can be both fun and fulfilling. Find online communities that are relevant to your current project or genre and get involved. There is a rich variety of online writing groups to choose from, so there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find something that speaks to you. Once you’ve done you research and gotten in touch about joining, start participating! Share your thoughts and ideas and put some effort into crafting thoughtful responses to other member’s posts. Set aside a certain amount of time each day specifically for this activity. It might take a little while to get into the swing of things, but chances are that in no time it’ll have become one of your favourite parts of your daily schedule.
Get on that webinar train
Webinars have been popular for a while, but they continue to be one of the most effective and engaging ways to share writing advice and ideas. Uniting writers from around the globe, webinars provide the opportunity to ask and share questions, answers, and ideas. Keep an eye out for events hosted by figures in the community that you respect. Also be mindful of the fact that a few thoughtful questions can easily put you on someone’s radar, so take the time to prepare for the webinar and ensure that you commit your full attention to the material. Got a topic that you feel very confident navigating and are eager to share information about? Host your own webinar!
Attend industry events
Professional meetings, shows, and festivals all offer fantastic networking opportunities. Not only do many of these events offer high quality and interesting programming, but you’ll also have the chance to meet in-person and speak with experts in a wide range of fields. In order to get the most out of these experiences, it is critical to attend all associated social and “meet-and-greet” activities, so don’t run off as soon as the formal presentation or talk component is finished. It is also advisable to go in with a list or idea of a few key figure you would like to speak with and what you would like to ask them.
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